Are you struggling as a small business? Are you trying to increase sales and bring in more revenue? What about building more loyalty with your existing customers? You are definitely not alone.
When it comes to the struggles of small business most of us are in the same boat. Yep, even your competitors struggle. Heck, even I struggle. But did you know that most of these struggles can be fixed or avoided by simply creating cohesive branding?
Cohesive branding that reflects the heart of your business can go a long way in solving some of the most common problems small business owners face. I will break down all the benefits in just a moment but first I feel I should explain exactly what branding is, because let’s face it, it’s a confusing term.
I see branding becoming the new “it” word around the small business world. It’s become trendy, but at the same time, I have seen it used to describe so many elements that it’s hard to know which usage is correct. So I want to rid you of any confusion.
Before we can define branding we first need to know what a brand is. Everything your customer sees, hears, and feels (emotionally and physically) is your brand. If you sell products your customer can eat or drink then what they taste is also part of your brand. Your brand is created in the minds of your audience. It’s their perception of what your business is, what it does, and how it does it.
So if your brand is what your audience believes to be true of your business then your branding is how you, the business owner, influence those beliefs. Your branding is how you tell your story to your customers to make them feel and believe certain truths about your business.
The ways you influence your audience varies for every business but for the most of us we use:
Our Visuals– logos, icons, patterns, and images are all ways we can use visuals to influence our audience’s perception of our business.
Our Foundation– our mission, vision, and values are another way we can influence our audience to feel a certain way about our brand.
Our Words– Blog posts, videos, podcasts, and even advertising copy are effective at communicating with our audience and helps influence their thinking of your businesses.
Now that you have a good idea of what branding actually is it’s time to learn why it’s so gosh darn important for your small business to be consistent with your branding.
Every great brand tells a story with their branding. The idea is to tell your story in a way that leaves no doubt in your audience’s mind that you are the best fit for them. Your branding tells your audience who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how your product or service is going to change their life for the better.
Strong branding can increase the value of your business by more than just your assets. Your physical products, office equipment, and other assets may add up to $100k but with strong branding behind your business, it could be worth ten times that amount.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur or a fortune 500 company with thousands of employees you need to have a clear direction for your business. A good branding strategy can give you that direction and keep you on track. Branding gives every person in your business the tools to meet the business’s goals. Your branding will lay the foundation for what you do and don’t do as a business.
Okay, so this is a big one. I haven’t met a single small business owner who doesn’t want their name to be recognizable, like Coca-Cola or Apple. Building a strong branding strategy allows customers to build that recognition. If your branding is unique and appeals to your audience they will without a doubt remember it for the next time.
All businesses want to make money but to make money you need customers and to get customers you need leads. As a small business owner, you know the power of word of mouth advertising. There’s nothing better than having a client tell a friend or family member how totally awesome your businesses is and how it changed their life. But what happens if your branding isn’t remarkable and they can’t remember your name? Your branding is what sticks in your customer’s minds long after they have done business with you.
Everything from your font choices to the words you use will create some form of emotional response from your audience. The goal of your branding is to give people some positive feels. You want them to become so emotionally invested in your business that they can’t help but to buy from you.
Every small business has competition in some form, it’s unavoidable. But when you create a unique branding strategy you will set yourself apart from your competition. You will give your business it’s own voice and personality.
Your branding is rooted in the foundation of your brand. Your mission, vision, values, and purpose will all play a huge role in your branding. Every photo, word, and graphics will convey those messages to your audience and solidify your brand in their minds.
A good solid branding strategy will do a lot for your small business. It can increase your revenue and customer satisfaction. It will help build your brand into a powerhouse that’s instantly recognizable.